The Chicago Pride Parade is back after a 3-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic and is the highlight of a month of events planned to honor and celebrate Chicago’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning or queer (LGBTQ) community during June.
Here’s what you need to know before you go.
When does it start — and what’s the route?
The parade will kick off at noon Sunday, at the corner of Montrose Avenue and Broadway in the Uptown neighborhood, and will follow its usual route and end at the corner of Diversey Parkway and Sheridan Road in Lincoln Park.
What’s the best way to get there?
Rail: The Red and Brown Lines provide the closest service to the parade route, according to the CTA. If taking the Red Line, exit at the Belmont, Addison or Sheridan stations. From the Brown Line, exit at the Diversey, Wellington or Belmont stations.
The Belmont station and the area around it tends to become the most crowded.
Bus: The following bus routes will get you near the parade:
Driving and parking
Street closures along the parade route and the surrounding area will be in place starting as early as 8 a.m. Sunday on Halsted Street and Belmont Avenue. Streets will reopen by 8 p.m.
Parking restrictions begin at 5 a.m. Sunday. Organizers suggest using public transportation.
Why gay rights are celebrated in June
LGBT Pride Month commemorates the June 1969 Stonewall riots in New York’s Greenwich Village, which began when patrons at a gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, violently resisted a police raid. It’s considered a critical moment in the gay rights movement.
Former President Barack Obama designated a 7.7-acre area — including the tavern and a small park across the street — the first national monument to gay rights in 2016.
Brief history of gay rights in Chicago
What is Chicago’s role in the gay rights movement?
First American gay rights group founded here: In 1924, postal clerk Henry Gerber formed the Society for Human Rights. He was soon arrested for being gay. He was never convicted, but the publicity (including a newspaper headline reading “Strange Sex Cult Exposed”) led to his firing for conduct unbecoming a postal worker. The group quickly disbanded. In 2015, Gerber’s home at 1710 N. Crilly Court in the Old Town Triangle neighborhood was designated a National Historic Landmark.
First Gay Pride Parade in the U.S.: More a march than a parade, the city’s Gay Liberation Movement staged its first rally and procession as part of Gay Pride Week on June 27, 1970. A short Tribune story the next day said 150 people listened to speakers in Bughouse Square (now Washington Square Park) before walking to the Civic Center (now Daley Plaza) where they formed a chain around the Picasso statue and shouted, “Gay power to gay people.”
Chicago’s march preceded parades in New York City, Los Angeles and other cities by one day.